Our first Virtual Exchange Program comes to an end!

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The First 3D Virtual Exchange Program:
Creative solutions to challenging situations

International offices in many universities were forced to cancel International Exchange or mobility programs due to the ongoing pandemic. Travel and in-person  restrictions make it difficult to foster opportunities of cultural and knowledge exchanges. Inchainge, together with Windesheim University of applies sciences in the Netherlands, has developed an ‘outside the box solution’: The Virtual Exchange Program.

From November 9 to December 21, students from Windesheim and six partnering universities experienced a 7-week program centered around the world’s first Circular business simulation game, The Blue Connection. Internationally mixed teams of four members became executives in their own virtual company, implemented strategies and negotiated trade-offs related to the transition from linear to circular models. Students also expanded their network in a series of teambuilding activities and Circular Economy workshops. Additionally, they got first-hand experience of the importance of intercultural communication and teamwork in a diverse environment.

Real-world experiences in a safe virtual environment

The program took place in VirBELA, an interactive 3D environment where participants can create an avatar, personalize, and control it to move around our Virtual Exchange Program suite and the Virbela world.  Social interaction and networking were made easy and allowed the participants to feel socially present with each other in one environment. VirBELA allows you to move your avatar around, move your head, shake hands, speak privately to someone and even dance!

The main challenge: Have a circular but profitable company

Within the teams, participants made decisions for a virtual e-bike manufacturing company that aimed to transform its value chain from a linear to a circular one. Students had to think about Product design, Supply Chain, Sales and Finance but, more importantly, strategy alignment to make this company profitable in a circular way. The teams faced problems about circularity measurements and managing trade-offs when making this transformation possible. This experience was possible with the world’s leading Circular business game: The Blue Connection.

Results of the program: The best performing team

During the 7-week program, twelve teams played six rounds of The Blue Connection.

We would like to congratulate  the best performing team ‘WINTER HATER’! This team managed to get a 32.59% return on investment (ROI) and consisted of four students from the following universities:

  1. University of Lincoln
  2. Heilbronn University of Applied Science
  3. SeAMK
  4. Technische Hochschule Ostwestfalen-lippen


You can also experience the transition from linear to circular in your class! Get your free trial  and experience The Blue Connection yourself. If desired, we will follow up with you to schedule a personal demo and talk through your questions and ideas.

If you would like to learn more about the Virtual Exchange Program, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are happy to discuss with you how your university can participate in the next edition. Contact us at: